A Pair of Older Tlingit Poles from the Historic Berthelsen & Pruell Jewelers Shop. This pair of Tlingit model totem poles were sold from the historic Berthelsen and Pruell Jewelry Shop of Ketchikan, Alaska. The shop was originally a Kirmse’s curio shop (the same historic curio and jewelry store based in Skagway), but was purchased by I.G. “Gus” Pruell and his friend and business partner, Bert Berthelsen, in 1913. The pair changed the name to “Berthelsen & Pruell Jewelers,” which operated in several locations in and around Ketchikan before finally being sold in 1960 (five years after Pruell’s death). Objects from this particular curio shop are exceedingly rare. The Tlingit poles themselves are probably older than the purchase of the jewelry shop by Berthelsen and Pruell and were most likely from the original Kirmse’s inventory. The first pole depicts a shark over a dragonfly and an unidentified figure at the base. The carved indentations in the teeth of the figures is a highly distinctive feature and could connect this pole to other pieces. Nicely painted in age-mellowed original pigments. The second pole is a flat, relief carved “panel” type pole that was popular at the turn of the 20th century. It has an unidentified top figure, too stylized to pinpoint, over a bear. The flamboyant colors of the pole are probably original to the piece. These poles came together as a pair and are therefore being sold as such. Priced as a pair. 17" x 19"
PERIOD: Early 20th Century
ORIGIN: Northwest - Tlingit, Native American
SIZE: 17" x 19"